Documenting the Coming Singularity

Wednesday, January 24, 2007

Get Your Life Back (Part Four)

Your goal, as we’ve stated, is to be able to leave work at a reasonable hour without your employer feeling that you haven’t done enough. To accomplish this Herculean task, you must help your employer to feel the opposite, that you consistently get the job done and do it well. That’s a reputation that will go a long way towards reclaiming your life.

When I was in high school, I cultivated such a reputation with my teachers, at least with most of them. They weren’t concerned about an absence here or there, or a tardy once in a while, because they thought of me as a diligent student. In the same way, when your employer or supervisor thinks of you as dependable, resourceful and motivated, he or she will not begrudge you time for your family or yourself.

One of the most effective ways to cultivate this kind of reputation, with a relatively small investment of time and effort, is to master the art of follow-up.

Let’s say you’re given an assignment. Keep your boss up to date on your progress. Let him or her know when you’ve completed it. If you’ve got customers or clients, do the same thing. Let them know what’s happening. You’ll keep them happy, and you’ll cut way down on the calls and emails you’ll get from them wanting to know what’s going on, especially the ones that come in at night or on weekends. I hate those. Put yourself in their shoes. Don’t you hate it when you have to hunt down information from people to find out the status of something you’ve delegated to them? Don’t you appreciate it when they keep you informed before you even have to think about it? Sure you do. Do the same for your boss and your customers and they will never worry about what you’re up to when you’re not around.

And one related tip: Teach those who work for you to do the same for you!

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Maritza said...

Good tips! Thanks for dropping by my blog. This is timely.